TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Though I'm Hesitant, I Think Now I Can Say, "I'M BACK."

Put in a nice, sorta-long TRAIL run this morning at my favorite wilderness park (Aliso and Wood Canyons Park).  This one was solo.  I dressed a bit too warm (time to pack away the micro-fleece) and didn't carry enough water (just one handheld to refill at the Top of The World.)  Despite all that -- it was a lovely run, and best of all NO HIP PAIN.

Originally, I planned on an out-and-back (14 miles), but I changed the course last second, because I wanted to get the major climbing over with.  That meant only one thing -- running up Meadows (Meadows, I believe has the most elevation climb in the shortest distance out of all the trails up).  From there, I ran the ridge into the neighborhoods along the Top of the World and re-entered the park at Westridge Trail.  I ran Westridge in its entirety to Cholla Trail to meet the delightfully shady Wood Canyon, which I ran back to Aliso Creek Trail, hot, sweaty, eyes stingy from salt, but loving, loving, loving it. 

An "OA" Pictorial of today's 11.64 mile run

Cholla Cactus along Aliso Creek Trail, a bizarre looking plant

The entrance to Meadows Trail after a turn off Aliso Creek Trail and a quick stint on Wood Canyon.  Meadows Trail is relatively flat for about a mile before the steep mile or so, switch-back climb begins to Top of the World.


Lupin Flowers (California Native) along Meadows Trail

Continuing along Meadows Trail (Off to the right, & out of sight, the agonizing, yet glorious, switch-back climb begins)
Running through the Mustard plants on my way up Meadows Trail


Nearing the top of Meadows Trail, last climb just ahead, I'm wishing about now that I could chuck the long-sleeve, but I won't dare run in a sports bra (that's just me : )


Finally at the Top of the World -- actually there is still a little climb on pavement before I reach the  REAL "Top of the World" neighborhood.  Camera on automatic set up on the trash can, I set out for a personal view of the neighborhoods below and the Pacific Ocean (really, I'm not posing).  Do you see Catalina Island in the background?


On my way to exiting the park, to re-enter again at Westridge in about 1 mile.


Obeying "No Trespassing" signs at Top of the World neighborhood (because I'm no scofflaw : ) I run down the trail behind the homes

The nice n' easy part of this run -- some road runnin'



Entering Aliso and Wood Canyons Park once again, from Alta Vista Park


Heading along Westridge Trail, an up and down trip, but mainly down


The Entrance to Cholla Trail -- what a delight to enter at this end, it's all down hill from here baby!


I know I said it was all downhill, it really is except for this tiny bump


Prickly Pear on Cholla Trail


Shade!  Finally SHADE!  (Notice runner coming up on the left on Wood Canyon Trail -- he's shirtless and I'm wearing longsleeves!)


The breeze blew in my face and I can't state enough how happy I was to run in the shade.  Water low, I was conserving.  Oh, and notice the biker up ahead.

More of shady Wood Canyon Trail


Don't touch that stuff (& you find it in the most beautiful lush places) -- that's Poisin Oak


Just another picture of Wood Canyon Trail that I had to capture

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